HCSO Aviation Unit Assists With Chase, Arrest Of Wrong-Way Driver

By Tamas Mondovics

A wrong-way driver who tried to outrun authorities last month quickly discovered that the old adage, “You can run, but you can’t hide,” was much more than mere words, especially when Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies were on his tail.

Hoping to utilize the advantage of the agility of his motorcycle to both outsmart and outrun deputies, Corey Lavon Johnson, Jr., 22, of Lakeland was arrested just after a short chase, which started with a citizen reporting a black male riding a motorcycle westbound in the eastbound emergency lane of I-4 near McIntosh Rd. on August 17.

According to the Sheriff’s Public Information Office, HCSO’s Aviation unit was on hand to respond to the area and, based on the limited description provided by the caller, spotted Johnson, who was now riding westbound in the westbound lanes of I-4, traveling southbound on I-75 exiting at SR-60, where things picked up.

Deputies said that they spotted the motorcycle and made contact with Johnson in the area of Barnes and Noble (Brandon Town Center/SR60), where he told them that the rear portion of his seat blew off and he was traveling the wrong way on I-4 to look for it.

When deputies requested that he turn the motorcycle off and step off, Johnson had something else in mind and fled only to be followed by the aviation unit which was still overhead.
At the nearby Citgo station on Adamo Drive and Wayne Place, Johnson decided to make a pit stop to purchase a T-shirt as deputies arrived and secured his motorcycle.
Exiting the store Johnson noticed the arrival of HCSO units and once again fled, but this time on foot.

Aviation continued to provide direction to the ground units as Johnson jumped numerous fences to arrive back at Adamo Drive where he frantically tried to wave down eastbound drivers.
Deputies said that a truck stopped and Johnson offered the driver money for a ride, but the driver refused recognizing something was wrong.

Johnson then opened the truck door and physically tried to pull the driver from the truck, but was unsuccessful thanks to the assistance of the driver’s passenger as the two fought off Johnson who again fled on foot as deputies approached.

Johnson was charged with Fleeing to Elude, Driving with License Canceled, Suspended or Revoked, Resisting an Officer Without Violence (x2), Carjacking and Battery. Visit www.hcso.tampa.fl.us.